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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
When driving in my 328 the other day, someone that was behind me said that every time I shifted into a gear, they saw a small puff of blue smoke come out of the exhaust. Does anyone have any idea how serious this is or what it could be? The car just had it's major service in May. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Marc
 

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mleizza said:
Hi,
When driving in my 328 the other day, someone that was behind me said that every time I shifted into a gear, they saw a small puff of blue smoke come out of the exhaust. Does anyone have any idea how serious this is or what it could be? The car just had it's major service in May. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Marc
Hi Marc,
It's not that big a deal if it puffs a little (only a little) on a shift.

Chevy small blocks are notorious for it due to oil getting past the valve guides. It happens on many other types of engines too, usually due to hard valve seals, caused by disuse and plain old age. Viton seals are the popular replacement.

The time you have to start worrying is if ALL of your spark plugs are black and wet looking when you take them out.

Another bad thing is when your car blows blue smoke continuously under acceleration. That is a sign of excessivly worn or cracked rings.

Hope this helps,
DJ
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think that she's definitely burning oil because when I pulled the dip stick today, there was just about nothing on it.

Also when I started her, and stood behind the exhaust, i was getting covered in these tiny black droplets. Any ideas what that is? Oil coming out the exhaust?
 

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mleizza said:
I think that she's definitely burning oil because when I pulled the dip stick today, there was just about nothing on it.

Also when I started her, and stood behind the exhaust, i was getting covered in these tiny black droplets. Any ideas what that is? Oil coming out the exhaust?
Oh, that's not good. Sounds like time for new rings, and/or valve work. Possibly a overbore of the cylinders as well. Maybe even a new seal around the crank. I'm betting your plugs are covered in gunk. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Time to take it to your mechanic. The longer you wait, the more costly the repair.

BTW: Whenever you see blue smoke, 9/10 it's burning oil somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How could this possibly be happening??? The car just went thru a complete major service in May of this year. I've only put 1600 miles on it since the service.
 

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1. A "service" will have no affect on the health of the internal components of your engine, i.e. piston rings, valve seals, valves. If those items were bad before the service they will not be any better after. Contact the mechanic that did the service and ask him what the spark plugs looked like and if there was any other evidence of high oil consumption.

2. The black droplets "could" be nothing more than exhaust soot mixed with condensation in the exhaust system. Mine does it too.
Excessive "soot" could be a sign of running too rich also.

3. Before you do ANYTHING, have a compression test and leakdown test performed on your engine (if it hasn't already been done). These tests will indicate the internal health of your engine.

4. Check the oil EVERY TIME you drive the car, BEORE AND AFTER. Record the observed levels. This will help you determine how much oil is really being used per number of miles.
 

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mleizza said:
I think that she's definitely burning oil because when I pulled the dip stick today, there was just about nothing on it.

?
Common levels of consumption are about a quart every 800 miles for an older 308.
1600 miles = 2 quarts which would put just about off the stick. Doesn't sound that bad.
Check it EVERY drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Spasso, I am beginning to feel optomistic but not out of the woods yet. I bought the car in December and the Compression test came back ok. Then, i had the Major done in May and there was no indication from the shop that the plugs were covered in any type of gunk. There was also a compression test done right after the service was done and it came back ok as well. It was three quarts down when I filled it today to the MAX on the dipstick. Afer that I started her up and the "droplets" I mentioned about coming out of the exhaust were not present anymore. I am taking her back to the shop on Tuesday and will tell them everything I am experiencing. What's really disturbing is that I keep a keen eye on the gauges all of the time and the oil pressure gauge never indicated that it was low. I know, I know, never trust a gauge. Always check it for your self. But, seeing that I took every precaution and had the Pre pruchase inspection done and then the Major Service done, I guess I took it for granted that I was free and clear... But, after all, this is a vintage sports car and I should know better.

Thanks for all of your input and I will keep you posted. If you have anything that comes to mind, please let me know.

Thank You again,
Marc
 

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mleizza said:
It was three quarts down when I filled it today to the MAX on the dipstick.
Checking the oil with the engine off and filling to the MAX line is not sufficient to keep the proper level in the engine. On my '78 308, per the manual, it is required to start the engine and warm it up to full operating temps then shut it off and check the oil within 30 seconds or so, before the oil drains back out of the oil cooler etc.....This will give you an accurate "operating level." Taking it one step further, I check my oil with the engine running and get the same results as checking after shut down.

After the engine has cooled I check the stick one more time and find the level way ABOVE MAX because all of the oil has drained out of the cooler and engine block. I make a note of the "cold" (over MAX) level and this way saves me the hassle of warming the car first to check the oil level.

The process may be different on your 328 so I would refer to the manual for the proper precedure

mleizza said:
What's really disturbing is that I keep a keen eye on the gauges all of the time and the oil pressure gauge never indicated that it was low.
Don't make the mistake of using the oil PRESSURE gauge to indicate the AMOUNT of oil in your engine. There is no "LOW" with a pressure gauge. When a PRESSURE gauge reads "low" or nearly "none" that means you are OUT OF OIL! ALL 10 QUARTS!!! The damage is done by then.

CAREFULLY READ YOUR MANUAL, it's very specific about how to check and maintain levels. If you don't have one you can purchase them for a reasonable cost at various sites on the internet
 

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Oil Check

My 328 manual says:

Check engine oil every 500 mls using the suitable dipstick B (fig. 49).

Carry out this operation with warm engine (140 to 158 F ) waiting a few minutes after its stopping ( 15 minutes for precise checkings ). The oil level must always result between the "Min" and "Max" marks on the dipstick.

Steve
 

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whiteNSX said:
My 328 manual says:

Check engine oil every 500 mls using the suitable dipstick B (fig. 49).

Carry out this operation with warm engine (140 to 158 F ) waiting a few minutes after its stopping ( 15 minutes for precise checkings ). The oil level must always result between the "Min" and "Max" marks on the dipstick.

Steve
Thanks for clarifying that. Definitely a different procedure than mine.

I seem to recall a thermostatically controlled oil cooler on the 328's as well. This could be preventing drain back.
Mine does not have one so I have to plug the air inlet on cold days with a foam plug to get the oil temps up where they belong.
 
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